Join us for A Night of Celebration

You are invited to the Valencia Alumni Association’s
 “A Night of Celebration” event.

Please join us as we celebrate this year’s
Distinguished Alumni Award recipients.

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1 week to the big day- let’s make some noise!




What: #DollarsforScholars is Valencia College Foundation’s end of year campaign.

Why: #DollarsforScholars will make the difference for many students to get the education they’ve always wanted.

When: Starting with #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving, on December 1 through the end of the year.

How: Donate any amount. Take an unselfie.  Spread the word.



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Dr. Suzanne R. Salapa, chair, department of dance

ssalapa-1354396170_140 (1)The latest in our series on endowed chairs.

For her endowed chair project this year, Dr. Suzanne R. Salapa is using her Universal Orlando Chair in Arts and Entertainment grant to invite the Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance residency.

She explains: “Each year for our Spring Dance Concert, we bring in a choreographer/reconstructor for a week- to 10-day residency to teach a piece that is performed at the Spring Concert.

“This is a tremendous honor for the dance program and Valencia, as we count it an honor to work with some of the biggest names in the concert dance profession: Isadora Dance Ensemble; Martha Graham Dance Company; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Jose Limon/Limon Dance Company; Shapiro and Smith Dance and others. The opportunity gives our dancers, who are pursuing an associate’s degree in dance performance, real life experience and a direct connection to the professional world while they are in school.”

This year, the reconstructor is Alberto del Saz, and the piece is the critically acclaimed “The Pond.”

The renowned artists of the Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance Residency will come to Valencia in January 2016. Classes and rehearsals will introduce both dancers and faculty to the ispring dance concertnnovative and diverse choreographic approach unique to Alwin Nikolais/Murray Louis’ versatile and well-respected repertory.

Valencia College’s arts in dance performance degree majors will locally debut “The Pond” at the 2016 Valencia Dance Spring Dance Concert, Friday and Saturday, at 8 p.m. March 25 and 26, in the East Campus Performing Arts Center, 701 North Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, Florida 32825. Tickets are available at (Click the icon on the top right that says, “BUY TICKETS”).

_MG_3102Dr. Salapa has had a varied career with such organizations as the Annandale (Virginia) Dance Theater, the Washington Ballet, Maryland Youth Ballet and Columbia City Ballet. She received her bachelor of science degree from Shenandoah University and completed her master of fine arts in dance degree from Florida State University. She earned her doctoral degree in education at the University of Central Florida. In the summer of 2014, Dr. Salapa participated in the internationally recognized program Dance for Parkinson’s Disease®.  A collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group has designed this dance teacher training model to encourage creativity and movement exploration for those with Parkinson’s disease. Professor Salapa also teaches the bi-monthly Movement as Medicine dance class at Florida Hospital Orlando.

Valencia Graduates Working to Pay it Forward!

Rebecca East Campus

Meet this year’s Mary Smedley Collier Distinguished GraduateRebecca Nash! Rebecca and her fellow graduates invite Valencia faculty and staff to help them meet their challenge to raise $5,000 or more before Commencement on May 9th. Their Legacy Class Gift will support future students through scholarships.

Please consider joining their legacy with your support!

Donations can be made:

By credit card: Visit . Completely fill out the form, decide a gift amount that is right for you, and click submit.

Or by cash or check:  Drop off your cash or check donation in any amount at the Alumni Relations office (407-582-3426) in the District Office or mail to: Valencia Alumni Relations, 1768 Park Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32835, or mail intercampus to DO-41.


calling for alumni class notes for Vitae magazine!

Social Media PostCheck out the current edition of the Vitae magazine.

valencia theater to stage ‘jealousy,’ winner of annual playwright competition

JealousyThe Valencia College Theater will present the winner of the 23rd annual Florida Playwright’s Competition, Ricardo Soltero Brown’s “Jealousy” from Feb. 5-9 at Valencia College’s East Campus.

“Jealousy” is a bitingly vicious, yet hilarious, tragicomedy revolving around three individuals – Celia, Al and Gunnar – who are trapped in a room of uncertainty, betrayal, love, desire, truth and lies.

Written by Brown, a Valencia graduate, the play will be directed by John DiDonna, with stage design by Kristen Abel and Aaron Babcock.

Evening performances will be held Feb. 5-8 at 7:30 p.m. On Feb. 8 and 9, matinee performances will be held at 2 p.m.

During the run, the cast will perform two special performances. The Feb. 8 afternoon matinee will be an experimental all-female cast, while the Feb. 8 evening performance will feature sign-language interpretation for deaf or hearing-impaired patrons.

Question-and-answer sessions with the playwright, director and cast will occur after the Feb. 7 evening performance and the Feb. 8 afternoon matinee.

Please note: The play contains adult subject matter, language and situations.

All performances will be held in the Black Box Theater on Valencia’s East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, in Orlando. General admission tickets are $12; tickets are $10 for Valencia College staff, senior citizens and students. Order tickets online (at and receive $2 off when you use the discount code: VALENCIAWEB.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia College; Valencia News;

art in teaching: new exhibition showcases work by artist and professor

The exhibition, titled “Demo’d: Art in Teaching,” showcases a body of more than 150 works created by Andrew Downey, who teaches drawing, printmaking and design at Valencia.

Viewers are likely to experience visual overload when first entering the gallery, but they’ll also see a vast and energetic range of demos created over time – as well as a body of work emanating from the art of teaching.

Last night opened the exhibition of artwork by artist and Valencia professor Andrew Downey.  The gallery will display his work free and open to the public through Oct. 18 at Valencia College’s East Campus, in the Anita S. Wooten Gallery.

The exhibition, titled “Demo’d: Art in Teaching,” showcases a body of more than 150 works created by Downey, who teaches drawing, printmaking and design at Valencia. An installation of works in various stages used as class demonstrations, the pieces in this exhibition have never been seen outside of the classroom.  Some date back as far as ten years while others are only several days old.

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery is located in Building 3, room 112, on Valencia’s East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.

The gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please call 407-582-2298 or 407-582-2268.

valencia college theater kicks off season with broadway hit ‘chicago’

chicago-logoThe Valencia College Theater is proud to present the hit musical “Chicago,” from Oct.18-27, in the Performing Arts Center of Valencia College’s East Campus.

The winner of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy and thousands of standing ovations, “Chicago” roars onto the Valencia Performing Arts Center stage this fall.

See what makes this Bob Fosse musical deliciously dangerous and exhilarating – as the show says, it’s a story of “murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery – all those things we all hold near and dear to our hearts.”

Join Roxie Hart, Velma Kelly, Billy Flynn, the “Merry Murderesses” and all the iconic characters that have made this musical one of the biggest Broadway successes ever since its debut in 1975. The subsequent revival became the longest-running musical revival as well as the longest running American musical on Broadway. It is also the third longest running show in Broadway history.

Valencia’s production will be directed by program chair John DiDonna, with choreography by Eric Yow of Yow Dance, and musical direction by Tim Hanes.

On Oct. 25, the performance will be followed by a talk-back with the cast and crew.

General admission tickets cost $15. Senior citizens, Valencia faculty, staff and students may purchase tickets for $12. Tickets can be purchased online at

Use the code “VALENCIAWEB” for a $2 discount on each ticket. The discount is for online purchases only. Tickets and more information are also available by calling the college box office at 407-582-2900.

There will only be seven performances of this hit musical, so advance purchase is advised.

Please note: The play contains adult subject matter and is considered a PG to PG-13 rating.

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia College; Valencia News;

valencia to host exhibit by renowned artist, social activist luba lukova

Luba-Lukova-JPG1-I_have_a_dreamValencia College is proud to host “Graphic Guts,” an exhibit by internationally acclaimed artist and social activist Luba Lukova, which will run Aug. 16 through Sept. 27 at Valencia’s Anita S. Wooten Gallery, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.

Valencia will hold a gallery reception to welcome the artist on Sept. 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Lukova will speak at 7:30 p.m. Admission to the gallery is free.

The Bulgarian-born Lukova is regarded as one of the most distinctive image-makers working today. Whether by using an economy of line, color and text to pinpoint essential themes of the human condition or to succinctly depict social commentary, her work is powerful and thought-provoking. In a climate dominated by complex multi-layered imagery, Lukova’s work is a refreshing contrast. Using engaging composition and energetic contrasts, her distinctive style is powerful in its simplicity and vivid palette, often achieved with single ink on colored paper.

Lukova’s work has been widely exhibited in the United States and internationally, with solo exhibitions at the UNESCO in Paris; the DDD Gallery in Osaka, Japan; La MaMa Gallery, New York; and the Art Institute of Boston. Her work is included in the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; and the World Bank.

In 2008, she released a critically acclaimed book of posters entitled Social Justice 2008, 12 Posters by Luba Lukova. Since its publication, the posters have been exhibited widely around the world.

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gallery is located in Building 3 on Valencia’s East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. For more information, please call 407-582-2298.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia College; Valencia News;

valencia east campus president joins united arts board

By Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel Arts Writer

I’ve written a lot this year about the various funding and policy changes at United Arts of Central Florida, the umbrella organization that supports more than 50 Central Florida arts and cultural groups.

At its annual meeting this summer, United Arts introduced seven new community and philanthropic leaders to its board of directors — the folks who ultimately decide and sign off on United Arts policies.

“I am thrilled with the wide ranging expertise and leadership brought to United Arts by our new board members,” said Flora Maria Garcia, United Arts president and CEO. “While the overall environment remains challenging for our artistic community, these talented individuals will be welcome additions to our arts-committed and engaged board.”

 Here are brief biographies of the new board members, provided by United Arts. The bios are followed by a list of the board of directors officers. Linda Landman Gonzalez, the Orlando Magic’s vice president of community relations and government affairs, remains as president.

The seven new board members are:

Edward Hensley, co-founder of AssistRX, Inc. Hensley has spent his career in the health-care industry working to improve people’s quality of life. His experience features leadership roles in specialty pharmaceutical corporations including the 2005 launch of Advanced Care Scripts Inc. now a unit of Omnicare, a Fortune 500 Company. His latest venture, AssistRX, Inc., provides state of the art technology to the biotech and pharmaceutical industry and their prescribers. In 2009, Hensley co-founded The Assistance Fund, a nonprofit committed to ensuring that no one goes without needed medications due to an inability to pay. Since its founding, the Assistance Fund has provided more than $146 million in grants to the needy across the United States and Puerto Rico.

DrStaceyJohnsonStacey R. Johnson, Campus President, East and Winter Park Campuses, Valencia College. With more than 30 years of experience in higher education and 20 years of direct institutional administrative experience, Johnson was named Campus President for East Campus, known as the Arts & Entertainment Campus, and Winter Park Campus in 2012. Johnson is also a past member of the United States Olympic team (1980) and the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Executive Committee (2000-2004) as well as the first woman to hold a four-year term as President of U.S. Fencing’s National Governing Body. She has been awarded the Congressional Gold Medial of Achievement and the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award and has been inducted into the San Antonio Women’s, San Jose State University, San Antonio Sports and U.S. Fencing Halls of Fame.

Jennifer McCarthy, FACHE, Chief Operating Officer for Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, a full-service medical and surgical facility of Orlando Health. With more than 20 years of healthcare experience, McCarthy currently oversees all operational aspects of the hospital. In addition, she has served on the boards of many community and professional organizations including the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Council of 100 at the Brevard Art Center and Museum, the Women’s Center Guild and the Central Florida American College of Healthcare Executives.

Christine Moore, current Chair of the Orange County School Board Communications Committee, member of the Legislative Committee and member of the Board of Directors for the Florida School Boards Association. Committed to the preservation of fine-arts education in our schools, Moore is a University of Michigan cum laude graduate in Music Education and Performance. She has performed with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, Bach Festival Orchestra and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Moore is the founder of a multi-media public relations firm and serves with area civic organizations, including the Orange County Charter Review Commission, Citizen’s Review Panel and Children’s First Scholarship Organization.

Penelope B. Perez-Kelly, of Counsel, McClane Partners. Perez-Kelly’s practice centers on trademarks, copyrights, immigration, commercial litigation and international business law. Board Certified in International Law from the Florida Bar in 2012 she is an alumna of the University of Miami and University of Florida College of Law. Perez-Kelly was awarded the Orange County Bar Association’s Lawrence G. Matthews Jr. Young Lawyer Professionalism Award in 2011 and is a member of the Florida Bar International Law Section Executive Council and the Hispanic Bar Association of Central Florida, where she served as president in 2007.

Jennifer Quigley, founding principal of WBQ Design & Engineering, Inc., a civil-engineering firm located in Downtown Orlando. As the Chairwoman of See Art Orlando, Quigley is overseeing the acquisition and installation of eight outdoor sculptures in downtown Orlando this fall. A longtime member and past chair for the Downtown Development Board and the Community Redevelopment Agency, Quigley is the outgoing Chair of the Orange County Cultural Arts Advisory Council and a member of the Orange County Public Art Review Board. Quigley and her fiancé own the Gallery at Avalon Island, and are sponsors of the Kiene/Quigley Gallery at CityArts Factory.

Kate Wilson, Vice President, Community Affairs Officer – Central Florida Government and Community Relations Group, Wells Fargo. With more than 15 years of professional experience in community relations, reputation management and strategic communication, Wilson works to uphold and promote Wells Fargo’s reputation in the community and manages philanthropy – community investments and volunteerism – across 14 countries. A native of Central Florida returning to Orlando after a lengthy stint in Boston, Mass., Wilson currently mentors students in the Read2Success Program, is a member of Leadership Orlando’s Class 85 and has served as a board member of Boston’s Children’s Chorus, an overseer for Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, and chairperson for the Boston Givers Group.

Now, here are the board of director’s officers for the next year:

Linda Landman Gonzalez, Chair

Bob McAdam, Vice Chair

Jean Nowry, Treasurer

Jennifer Quigley, Secretary

Christopher M. McCann, Chair, Audit & Finance

Scott E. Bowman, Chair, Development

Tony Jenkins, Chair, Nominating

Martha Hartley, Chair, Standards & Allocations

a critique of societies adherence to ideals of beauty: Neil LaBute’s comedy

A modern and funny play about love between an average guy and a plus-sized woman, complicated by a world in which superficial judgments based on ones size and shape are the norm.

The Valencia College Theater is proud to present Neil LaBute’s hilariously biting comedy “Fat Pig,” on June 6, and running through June 16. The Friday, June 14th performance offers a bonus talk-back with cast and director after the production.

The play depicts the budding romance between Tom, an upwardly mobile corporate type, and Helen, a plus-sized librarian. LaBute’s comedy will critiques societies adherence to Hollywood ideals of beauty, and boldly questions the ability to change what we dislike about ourselves.

All performances will be in the Valencia College Black Box Theater, located on Valencia’s East Campus in Building 3. Curtain times will be7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Sunday performances will begin at 2 p.m.

Valencia College Theater presents this contemporary work by Neil LaBute with a production direction by John DiDonna, set design by Greg Loftus, lighting design by Kristin Abel and costume design by Kayleigh Raymondo. The cast includes Chris Markcity, Olivia Richardson, Andrew Romano and Jessica Meguiar.

General admission tickets cost $12. Senior citizens, Valencia faculty, staff and students may purchase tickets for $10. Tickets can be purchased online at or by CLICKING here.

Read more about Valencia College Theater to Present FAT PIG, 6/6-16 by

best student artwork on display at east campus gallery

juried-student-art-2012-300x199What’s the best artwork that Valencia students produced this year? Come see now at the Anita S. Wooten Gallery on East Campus. An award ceremony was held last week and recognized outstanding work that includes drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and design as well as graphic design and interactive design.

From over 300 submitted entries, 120 were selected for display. The jurors for the fine art selections were: Kevin Haran, a professor in the art department at the University of Central Florida, and Rick Lang, who heads the photo department at Crealde School of Art in Winter Park. Eleven graphics professionals from the Valencia Graphics Advisory Board selected the works for the graphics area.

The exhibition will run through May 17. The Anita S. Wooten Gallery, which is on Valencia’s East Campus in Building 3, room 112, will be open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (excluding college closed breaks), and is free to the public.
Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia College; Valencia News;

faculty artwork exhibit

There is still time to catch Valencia’s 2012 Selected Fine Arts Faculty Exhibition, running through Dec. 14 at the Anita S. Wooten Gallery.


The exhibition features the works of members of the college’s art department faculty. The artwork represents a wide range of media, including sculpture, ceramics, drawings, photography and paintings.

Participating artists include: Courtney Canova, Michael Galletta, Rima Jabbur, Grazyna Kleinman, Allan Maxwell, Jackie Otto Miller and Camilo Velasquez.

The faculty exhibition has been held annually since 1975, when Valencia was founded.

The gallery is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The gallery is located at Valencia College’s East Campus, Building 3, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. For more information, call 407-582-2298 or 407-582-2268.

wanted: new, original plays by Florida playwrights

The Valencia College East Campus theater program is accepting plays from Florida playwrights for its annual Florida Playwrights Competition, which has been held annually since 1991.

Scripts must be original, previously unproduced, full-length plays that are at least 90 minutes long. Scripts that have received staged readings may be submitted. Collaborations are eligible, but children’s plays, musicals and adaptations are not eligible.

The deadline for entries is Oct. 15, 2012.

The winning play will be announced in early December and will be staged in April 2013, as part of Valencia’s regular theater season. The playwright will be invited to develop and workshop the play, beginning in January. The playwright will also receive a stipend to cover travel and other expenses related to the production.

Valencia requests that playwrights submit their manuscripts by email. Playwrights residing in Florida are invited to send the first 15 pages (of no more than two scripts per person) to Valencia’s artistic director, Julia Gagne at For further submission information or a mailing address, call 407-582-2296.

Wanted: New, Original Plays by Florida Playwrights

upcoming theater performance in the black box

Valencia College Theater will present the Lorraine Hansberry modern classic, “A Raisin in the Sun,” on February 15-19 and 22-26. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, with an additional matinée on Saturday, February 25 at 2 p.m.

The Valencia College Foundation has coordinated a special ‘come back stage’ event that will provide a tour of the Performing Arts Center followed by a performance in the Black Box Theater.  Valencia friends, community supporters, and donors will receive invitations, with additional information, the first week in February.  For more information please call 407-528-3180.

The New York Times called “A Raisin in the Sun” “a play that changed American theater forever.” The drama is the story of an African American family in the 1950’s waiting desperately for a change in their circumstances. Multiple generations of the family struggle, feeling trapped in a dingy, tiny apartment that was supposed to be temporary housing 40 years earlier. The catalyst for change is an anticipated life insurance check, but various family members have different and conflicting designs on the money. In the end, there is hope, but the family knows that the road to their dreams will not be an easy one.

Hansberry’s work will be directed by John DiDonna, with guest artist Avis Marie Barnes playing Mama, the formidable matriarch of the family.

The play will be presented in the Black Box Theater on the college’s East Campus, located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando. Seating is limited in the Black Box, so advance purchase is recommended; also, latecomers will not be seated until intermission.

Ticket prices are $10 general admission, and $8 for students, seniors, Valencia staff and alumni. Tickets may be purchased by phone, in person at the Box Office, or online at  For further information, please call the Box Office at 407-582-2900.

student showcase recital tomorrow

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, there is a student showcase recital at the Performing Arts Center on Valencia’s East Campus. The recital starts at 7:30 pm and is free of charge and open to the public. This recital will feature some of Valencia’s most outstanding student performers on piano, sax, trumpet and voice.

About Valencia’s music program
Since 1975, Valencia’s music program has been dedicated to the idea of inspiring future performers by providing students with musically trained faculty and an expanding array of resources and experiences to enrich, stimulate and develop gifts in and outside the classroom.

Valencia’s music program leads to an associate in arts degree.

Students in the program master the fundamentals of performance and build on career opportunities by weekly participation in one of a dozen ensembles.

Students at Valencia get more opportunities for solo work and conducting than at many four-year schools where upperclassmen often get primary roles.

Valencia Foundation offers music-specific scholarships including the Instrumental Music Scholarship, Valerius-Vance Scholarship and Ferrigno Family Scholarship.

Music program students enjoy the resources of Valencia’s East Campus fine arts center, including instrumental and choir rehearsal halls, a library/listening, a MIDI/electronic piano lab and a 550-seat performance hall.

Valencia graduates can be found in many outstanding American music schools including Berkeley, New World School of the Arts, Stetson, FSU, UF and USF. Others now perform with leading symphony orchestras. 

Still others went on to have major recording careers. 

Three famous pop groups have members who received their training in Valencia’s music department:

  • Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys
  • Chris Kirkpatrick of ‘N Sync
  • David Perez, Brody Martinez and Raul Molina of C Note

fall musical at valencia: the drowsy chaperone

This magical performance will transport you from the living room of a die-hard musical theater fan into a dazzling 1920’s theratical musical.   

This musical-within-a-play is anything but drowsy! Get your tickets online now.

7:30 p.m. curtain – October 21, 22, 27, 28, 29
2:00 p.m. curtain – October 23 and 30

In 2006 The Drowsy Chaperone, a homage to jazz musicals, won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score with many featured actors/actresses nominated.   

Click Here To Purchase Tickets

For more information about Valencia’s 2011-2012 Arts Season please click on the image above or visit:

anita s. wooten 10th anniversary exhibit and reception – friday, aug. 5

2011-2012 arts season launched with new online ticketing

Valencia Launches New Arts Season — and New Website to Buy Tickets Online

Every year, Valencia College stages a wide variety of arts programs, from theater to film to visual arts and dance productions. 

This fall, for instance, theater lovers will be lining up to see Valencia’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” a comedy that critics have called a delicious and wildly comic spoof of musical comedies and their desperately loyal fans.

In June, check out “The Laramie Project,” a documentary-styled play that examines the 1998 beating and murder of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay college student who was killed because of his sexual identity. Critics say the creator has used the power of theater to force audiences ”to face the unsettling questions about the potential for violence in even the most ordinary corners of the American landscape.”

If theater’s not your thing, there are plenty of other arts events at Valencia.  Starting Aug. 19, the East Campus will be home to “Graphic by Design,”  an exhibition showcasing exceptional work created by Orlando-area graphic and advertising art professionals. Dance lovers can kick off the arts season with Valencia’s Choreographers Showcase in November. And in December, music lovers can take in the Winter Choral Concert, the Fall Symphonic/Jazz Band Concert and the Fall Opera Workshop.

To learn about Valencia College’s 2011-2012 arts events — and buy tickets to the events — check out the college’s new arts website at

 There, you can purchase tickets for individual events or buy a season ticket package. That’s good news for arts patrons because, in the past, tickets to Valencia arts events were available only at the box office, by phone or through Red Chair Project website.  Using Valencia’s new arts website, you can receive priority seating and get your choice of show dates and times.

Have questions? Call the box office at 407-582-2900.

bird’s eye view: professor wins coveted prize for photo

Jack Rogers, East Campus geology professor, won the grand prize in a photography contest sponsored by WildBird magazine, one of two national birding magazines in the country.

Rogers said his winning image of a sandhill crane was taken on the edge of a retention pond near a friend’s house in southeast Orlando.

“I found them along the pond’s edge, the parents digging for food and the chick (known as a colt) following along waiting to be fed,” said Rogers. “The shot captures the moment when the colt is flipping a mole cricket to better get it into position to swallow.”

Rogers used a Sony DSLR camera with a 400-millimeter telephoto lens to bring the viewer up close. As the grand prize winner, his photo appears in the September/October issue of WildBird which is on newstands now. He will also receive a pair of Zeiss binoculars.

Rogers has dabbled in bird and nature photography most of his life, but took it up seriously when he moved to Florida eight years ago to teach at Valencia.

“I like to use my photography to share with others the beauty of our natural world and hopefully lead them to consider the value of preserving it,” Rogers said.

His images have been published in Florida Wildlife Magazine, National Wildlife Magazine, and a variety of other publications, including a National Geographic book on bird coloration that came out last year. You can find some of his published prize-winning images here:

Rogers also regularly donates his images to conservation organizations such at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Florida Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society.

In addition to geology, Rogers teaches a course on nature photography which is offered in the spring on the East Campus. The course includes four field trips where his students practice in the techniques they learn in the classroom. Examples of the students’ work is now on display around the East Campus.

Source: Carol Traynor, Marketing and Strategic Communications

on set with valencia film students

Orlando Sentinel film critic Roger Moore writes about Valencia’s latest indie film, the comedy “My Fair Lidy.” One article is about the shoot, and one is about its star, Christopher Backus.

via On the Set of “My Fair Lidy” with Valencia’s Film Students.

summer dance: repertory concert July 15-16

Save the date! 

A more recent addition to Valencia’s Dance Series, the Summer Repertory Concert is designed to showcase Valencia’s resident dance company, Valencia Dance Theatre and provide a performance opportunity for the annual Valencia Summer Dance Institute.

The Repertory Concert includes faculty and guest artist choreography, including choreography by former Valencia Dance graduates. The Summer Repertory Concert provides a summer performance opportunity for not only our dancers, but for our Valencia viewing audience as well.

Performance Dates:
Friday, July 15, 2011 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 16, 2011 8:00 p.m.
East Campus Performing Arts Center
Box Office: 407-582-2900
Tickets: $8.00 General Admission/$6.00 Valencia Employees, Students and Seniors

art exhibition pays tribute to gallerys namesake

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery at Valencia College’s East Campus will host a memorial exhibition titled, “Friends of Anita S. Wooten Exhibition,” beginning Friday, June 17, with a reception from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The collection will be on exhibit through August 5.

The exhibition will feature the work of Victor Bokas, Eric Breitenbach, Rocky Bridges, Michael Galletta, Cicero Greathouse, Nancy Jay, Mitchell Long, Robert Rivers and Que Throm.

Valencia Professor and artist Anita Wooten was well-known throughout the Central Florida arts community before her death from cancer in 2001. Wooten’s soulful work reflected the hopes, anxieties and fears of her decade-long battle against the disease.

The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

Summer gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

The gallery is located in Building 3 on Valencia’s East Campus at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

For information, call 407-582-2298 or 407-582-2268. For a schedule of upcoming exhibitions, visit

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

a midsummer nights dream

For its final play of the 2010-2011 theater season, the Valencia Character Company will present William Shakespeare’s classic comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

For its final play of the 2010-2011 theater season, the Valencia Character Company will present William Shakespeare’s classic comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Showtimes are June 9-11 and June 16-18 at 7:30 p.m. and June 12 and 19 at 2 p.m.

Silly, magical, funny, romantic and mystical, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of the Bard’s most often produced plays. It follows the adventures of four young lovers and a group of amateur actors who are manipulated by the fairies inhabiting a moonlit forest. Valencia’s interpretation will be fairly traditional, exploring love as a sometimes-irrational facet of life that often seems beyond our control.

Ticket prices are $10 for general admission and $8 for students, seniors and Valencia staff and alumni. Tickets are free for Valencia students.

To purchase tickets please visit:

the crucible comes to valencia

The Valencia Character Company will present “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller. Showtimes are Feb. 16-19 and Feb. 23-26 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 20 and 27 at 2 p.m., with an additional matinee on Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. in the Black Box Theater at Valencia Community College’s East Campus.

A dark and disturbing look at the Salem witch trials of 1692, “The Crucible” explores a society whose very soul is on the line due to wild accusations and widespread hysteria. Miller wrote the play as a parable for Senator Joseph McCarthy’s crusade against communist sympathizers. More than just a period piece, the play’s theme of the deadly consequences of unchecked rumors and fear mongering may well have parallels in the modern political landscape.

Miller’s work will be directed by John DiDonna and designed by Valencia theater professor Michael Shugg.

Ticket prices are $10 for general admission, and $8 for students, seniors, Valencia staff and alumni. Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. Seating is limited in the Black Box Theater, so advance ticket purchase is suggested and latecomers may not be seated until intermission. Please be advised that this play contains themes that are not suitable for children under age 10.

For reservations or further information, please call the box office at 407-582-2900. Tickets are also available online at

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

valencia film program alumnus shows film at OLA Fest

The Orlando Latin American Film & Heritage Festival’s seventh edition opens Thursday, with four days of movies, music, talks and a staged reading of a play.

Full story: film festival orlando: Ol –

Orlando filmmaker Aaron Hose is a Valencia Community College and University of Central Florida film program alumnus who works in video production at UCF.

“Tony was doing things around town to make people aware that Taiwan was not just Chinese, that there were these tribes that were there before the Han Chinese came and took over the culture,” says Hose. “His mother, who had died, had never told him she was from the Atayal tribe. We thought ‘There’s a documentary in that story.'”

Hose spent years documenting former Orlandoan Tony Coolidge‘s search for the indigenous heritage his mother hid from him all his life.

Filmmaker Aaron Hose shot "Voices in the Clouds" in locales from Orlando to Taiwan. (Aaron Hose, Voices in the Clouds / February 3, 2011)

Full story:

film festival orlando: Ol –


valencia and garden theatre present susan werner

The Garden Theatre in Winter Garden welcomes celebrated singer/songwriter Susan Werner for a live performance on January 25 at 8 p.m. The event is sponsored in part by Valencia Community College under its Visions & Voices distinguished artists series.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show. Seating is general admission.

Susan Werner made her public debut at age five, playing guitar and singing at church. She began playing piano when she was 11, and after earning a degree in voice from the University of Iowa, she completed her graduate studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she performed in recitals and operas.

Werner launched her recording career with the self-released “Midwestern Saturday Night” in 1992, which was followed by “Live at Tin Angel” in 1993. The second album impressed executives at Private Music/BMG, which released her major label debut “Last of the Good Straight Girls” in 1995. She also received critical accolades for her subsequent recordings, “Time Between Trains” (VelVel, 1998) and “New Non-Fiction” (Indie, 2001). She has toured the nation with acts such as Richard Thomson, Keb Mo and Joan Armatrading, and was featured in a 1998 Peter, Paul and Mary PBS television special as one of the best of the next generation of folk songwriters.

From her folk/pop beginnings, to the songbook flavored “I Can’t Be New” and now “Susan Werner: Classics,” Werner relishes the challenges of being a creative free spirit. Her new CD, “Kicking the Beehive,” will be released on March 1, 2011 (

For tickets and information, visit or call 407-877-4736. The Garden Theatre is located at 160 West Plant St. in Winter Garden.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

free event: duality-paintings of Chris Kahler

Examples of Chris Kahler paintings, biography and exhibitions from

Examples of Chris Kahler paintings, biography and exhibitions from

Students, friends, community members, alumni and family are invited to view the paintings of Chris Kahler and share in a lecture by the artists.  The exhibition, Duality, is housed at Valenica’s Anita S. Wooten East Campus Gallery.  The reception is free and open to the public on January 21, 6:30-8:30pm.

Valencia is pleased to bring the paintings of Chris Kahler, Professor of Painting and Drawing at Eastern Illinois University.   A review of his work was featured in the magazine Art in America.   

If unable to make the Gallery opening please consider visiting the exhibit from Jan. 21 – March 11, 2011.   

For more information on Valencia's Arts and Entertainment offerings please visit:

a flurry of free concerts for the holidays

Valencia Community College’s East Campus performing arts students will close the year with an array of concerts between now and mid-December. The cost gives music lovers even more reason to rejoice—admission is absolutely free.

Dec. 2 – Winter Choral Concert at 7:30 p.m., Performing Arts Center

Valencia’s premier 50-member concert choir along with the Valencia String and Contemporary ensembles will perform a wealth of classic, contemporary and seasonal works. Showcased will be John Williams’ deeply moving score for “Schindler’s List,” performed by the choir with violin soloist David Bathen. Other featured works include music from “Wicked,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Peter Pan,” Handel, Brahms, Emerson and Dello Joio.

Dec. 5 – Ensembles Program at 2:30 p.m., St. Michael’s Church

Valencia’s choir will perform works by Handel, Brahms, Emerson and Dello Joio, as well as selected carols and madrigals. The Valencia String Ensemble will perform “Water Music” by Handel, Vivaldi’s “Autumn” score from “The Four Seasons” with violin soloist Sam Mugnolo, “Serenade in E Minor” by Elgar, and the theme from “Schindler’s List.” St. Michael’s Episcopal Church is located at 2499 N. Westmoreland Dr. in Orlando.

Dec. 9 – Fall Symphonic/Jazz Band Concert at 7:30 p.m., Performing Arts Center

Featuring performances by Valencia’s Wind Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band and Brass Ensemble in an eclectic concert of styles and sounds, including brass classics by Hassler, Gabrieli, Mozart and Joplin, modern pieces by Bartok and Gustafson, and traditional Christmas carols. Highlights include Eric Whitacre’s “Ghost Train,” a contemporary piece that depicts a supernatural machine that roars out of the night through forgotten towns and empty canyons, and two contrasting yet beautiful ballads by Path Metheny and Henry Mancini.  The Jazz Band will also perform two foot-tapping Buddy Rich classics “Dancing Men” and “Basically Blue,” Count Basie’s “Cute,” and the Sammy Nestico classic “Freckle Face.”

Dec. 10 – Fall Opera/Theatre Workshop at 7:30 p.m., Black Box Theater

Valencia vocal students showcase their lyrical range with a variety of selections from the worlds of musical theater and opera. A production of “Hansel and Gretel” makes up the first half of the show, followed by selections from “Young Frankenstein,” The Fantasticks,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “bare: a Pop Opera,” “The Life,” “Tick, Tick…Boom!” and “Little Women.”

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando. For more information, contact us at 407-582-2340 or visit

phoenix magazine wins big!

Valencia’s West Campus Student Art and Literary Publication, Phoenix, won “General Excellence” at the 2010 Florida Community College Press Association Magazine Competition on Friday, October 22, 2010. In addition to General Excellence award, Valencia won multiple honors in Division B, which was comprised of submissions from eight of Florida’s largest community colleges (categorized as greater than 6500 Full Time Equivalent students).

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Pick up your FREE issue of the 2009/2010 Phoenix in the lobbies of most West Campus buildings. Can’t find one? Contact Professor Jackie Zuromski in West Campus Building 3, Room 143 or by email.

For more information about Phoenix Magazine, please visit:

For the complete list of state-wide winners, download the Florida Community College Press Association Magazine Competition 2010 Awards Program (PDF).

Valencia winners include:

Poem: 1st place
Ryan Patton, “Ghost”

Poetry: 3rd place
Mark Alton, “Independence Day”
Chris Garcia, “Where Went my Forest?”
Ryan Patton, “Gentlemen”

Fiction: 3rd place
Rania Elbohy, “Starry Night”

Illustration with Text, Individual: 2nd place
Samantha Harvey, “Determination: A World at his Back”

Photo: 3rd place
Joanna Knowles, “Fall Rhapsody”

Design: 1st place
Michelle Cavanaugh and Katie Mascarello Simari

Editing: 3rd place
Michelle Cavanaugh

Cover: 1st place
Jody Roun, “Frame Work,” and Katie Mascarello Simari

Contents Page: 1st place
Michelle Cavanaugh and Katie Mascarello Simari

Staff Page: 1st place
Michelle Cavanaugh and Katie Mascarello Simari

Inner Circle of Excellence Award (for students placing in 3 or more categories)
Michelle Cavanaugh and Katie Mascarello Simari

For more information about the Florida Community College Press Association, please visit :

free art event today, Friday, Nov. 5

From Dr. Wendy L. Givoglu, Dean, Arts & Entertainment:

We are pleased to offer two free Arts & Entertainment events this Friday night, November 5th. In the Anita S. Wooten East Campus Gallery, we have the opening of Selected Fine Art Faculty featuring the works of Courtney Canova, Linda Ehmen, Michael Galletta, Kyle, Rima Jabbur, Michael Katz, Alan Maxwell, Jackie Otto-Miller, and Camilo Velasquez.  Opening reception is from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Building 3 Atrium.  Refreshments will be served.

And…in the adjacent Black Box Theater, we have our House Band Concert, a rock concert performed by students in the Commercial Ensemble class (with visual effects by students in our Digital Media program). Directed by Dr. Troy Gifford, the House Band will perform an eclectic program featuring varied artists including Alicia Keys, Radiohead, Pink, Queen, The Fugees, Whitney Houston, and Dream Theater. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Please join us, and invite your students and friends for a fun night of ART + ROCK!

reminder: carousel at valencia (last weekend!)

October 28-31, 2010

Book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Richard Rodgers
Based on Ferenc Molinar’s play “Lilion” as adapted by Benjamin F. Glazer
Performing Arts Center on Valencia’s East Campus

(The Saturday, Oct. 30 performance will be American Sign Language interpreted.)

Regular ticket prices are $10 for students, seniors, Valencia faculty and staff and $12 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 407-582-2900, or at  Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 28, 29, and 2 PM Oct. 31, at the Performing Arts Center on East Campus.

See the full schedule of Arts and Entertainment events at

author richard bausch to speak at valencia west campus

Richard Bausch, prize-winning novelist and short story writer, will read from his works on October 14 from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by a book signing, in the West Campus Library at Valencia Community College.

The event is free and open to the public.

Bausch currently serves as the Moss Chair of Excellence in the writing program at The University of Memphis. He is the author of 11 novels and eight collections of stories. His novels include “Rebel Powers,” “In the Night Season,” “Hello to the Cannibals,” “Thanksgiving Night” and “Peace;” and the story collections “Spirits,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “The Stories of Richard Bausch,” “Wives & Lovers: 3 Short Novels,” and most recently, “Something is Out There.” His novel, “The Last Good Time,” was made into a feature-length motion picture that was directed by Bob Balaban starring Armin Meuhler-Stahl, Maureen Stapleton and Lionel Stander, and released in April 1995.

An acknowledged master of the short story form, Bausch’s work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper’s, The New Yorker, Playboy, The Southern Review, The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories and The Pushcart Prize Stories. He has won two National Magazine Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lila-Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund Writer’s Award, the Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2004 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, and for “Peace,” the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

For information, contact Nichole McPherson at 407-582-3121 or Bausch’s appearance is part of Visions and Voices, the college’s distinguished artist series.

The West Campus is located at 1800 S. Kirkman Rd. in Orlando.

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

enjoy the music of Carousel

The Valencia Character Company will kick off its 2010-11 theater season with the classic, award-winning musical, “Carousel,” with book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and music by Richard Rodgers.

“Carousel” tells the story of mill worker Julie Jordan and her ill-fated love affair with carnival barker Billy Bigelow. The tale is told with the help of a brilliant score of music which includes the songs, “If I Loved You,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and the delightful “June is Busting Out All Over,” among others. Composer Richard Rodgers deemed the score his personal favorite of the many he created.

The musical opens on Friday, Oct. 22, with additional performances on Oct. 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 and 31. Curtain time is at 7:30 p.m. for Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances and at 2 p.m. on Sundays.

 The performance on Saturday, Oct. 30 will be American Sign Language interpreted, and there will be a special section of seating reserved for the hearing impaired.

 All performances take place at the Performing Arts Center on Valencia Community College’s East Campus, located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

 Ticket prices are $12 for general admission and $10 for students, seniors and Valencia staff and alumni. For reservations and further information, please call the Box Office at 407-582-2900. Tickets are also available online at Season tickets for 2010-11 are still available, and can be purchased at the Box Office.

 Valencia’s Artistic Director, Julia Allardice Gagne, will direct the production, with musical direction by Alan Gerber and Tim Hanes and choreography by Lesley Brasseux Rodgers.

For the first time, the resident Valencia dance company will be performing in a Valencia musical. They, with Ms. Brasseux Rodgers, will be recreating some of the original choreography by world renowned and groundbreaking choreographer, Agnes DeMille.

Source: Valencia Marketing & Strategic Communications

2010-2011 arts season at Valencia

A message from Wendy L. Givoglu, Dean of Arts & Entertainment

Welcome to the 2010-2011 Arts Season! Our Valencia season of arts events officially kicked off last week with our East Campus Gallery opening of the exhibition Curator’s Choice:  Small Works by Central Florida Artists. Our new season continued Tuesday evening with our Music Faculty Recital at 7:30 p.m. in the East Campus Performing Arts Center. We are currently distributing brochures that present our Arts & Entertainment season of events in Music, Visual Arts, Film, Dance, and Theater. This information is also available on

We are excited to share a backstage pass to everything happening in Arts & Entertainment through our Facebook page at Please consider joining our group, and share this with students as a great resource for cultural happenings at Valencia.

Rehearsals and set construction have started for our production of Carousel, opening October 22. This fall musical is a wonderful collaboration between faculty and students in our Theatre, Dance, Music, and Entertainment Design & Technology programs. We can accommodate large groups of students, faculty, staff, families, friends, etc., so please consider a night out at the Theatre at Valencia! For information on purchasing tickets, you can contact our Box Office at 407-582-2900.

Finally, I wanted to share that Broadway Across America/Florida Theatrical Association is offering discounted individual tickets to their 2010-2011 Season for Valencia students, faculty, staff, family, and friends. For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to and enter password valenciabroadway

Thank you for your continued support of our programs! Please let me know if you have any questions or if you want any additional information. 

 We hope you’ll join us this Arts Season at Valencia!!!

visions and voices – patricia smith

Valencia’s Visions and Voices series kicks off this season with poet and author Patricia Smith. Patricia will be at the Winter Park Campus – Student Lounge on Thursday, September 16. There will be a reading from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., immediately followed by a book signing until 2:30 p.m.  

Recognized as one of the world’s most formidable performers and a 2008 National Book Award Finalist, Patricia has read at venues around the world, including the Poets Stage in Stockholm, Rotterdam’s Poetry International Festival, the Aran Islands International Poetry and Prose Festival and on tour in Germany, Austria and Holland. In the U.S., she’s performed at Carnegie Hall, Bumbershoot, the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, the Folger Shakespeare Library and St. Mark’s Poetry Project.

Patricia is a four-time national individual champion of the notorious and wildly popular Poetry Slam, the most successful competitor in slam history. She was featured in the nationally-released film “Slamnation,” and appeared on the award-winning HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.”

Patricia’s fifth book of poetry, Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press) chronicles the human, physical and emotional toll exacted by Hurricane Katrina, a catastrophic natural event with lasting spiritual and political impact. This much-anticipated volume is also the focal point of a new dance/theater collaboration between Patricia and dancer Paloma McGregor of Urban Bush Women.

Valencia’s Winter Park Campus is located at 850 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, FL 32789.

good artwork comes in small packages at valencia’s anita s. wooten gallery

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery on Valencia Community College’s East Campus will hold an opening reception for its newest exhibition, ‘Curator’s Choice: Small Works by Central Florida Artists,’ on Friday, Sept. 10 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m.

The exhibition began on Aug. 13 and will continue through Oct. 1. It features small-scale paintings, sculpture and mixed media pieces by 24 local artists. The Gallery Director, Jackie Otto Miller, selected the works.

The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. The Anita S. Wooten Gallery is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail on Valencia’s East Campus. Call 407-582-2298 or 407-582-2268 for more information. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

 Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News;

can you sing?

Valencia Chorus Groups Seek New Members

Valencia Community College’s chorus groups are looking for new members for the fall term. Membership is open to all students, staff, faculty and community members.

There are two opportunities available:

Valencia A Cappella
The Valencia A Cappella group sings the music of the Voices of Liberty from Epcot and performs at local events, resorts and other venues. Those interested in joining must be able to read music. Basic musical talent is a plus. Auditions are required.

To join the Valencia A Cappella, participants must register for the Valencia course MUS 2930, CRN # 11961. Members will receive one hour of college credit. The course costs $91.73. Seniors over age 59 and dual-enrollment students can join for free. The group will meet every Monday night, beginning Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. on Valencia’s East Campus, located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

Voices of Valencia
Voices of Valencia is a musical group for singers of all levels. They sing a wide variety of music at local community events. For the fall, the group will focus on preparing for the Epcot Candlelight Processional, which it has participated in for the past nine years as part of the Fall Holiday Music Concerts. Anyone can join Voices of Valencia and no auditions are required.

To join the Voices of Valencia, participants must register for the Valencia course MUN 1311, CRN # 11213. Members will receive one hour of college credit. The course costs $91.73. Seniors over age 59 and dual-enrollment students can join for free. The group will meet every Tuesday night, beginning Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. on Valencia’s East Campus, located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

For more information about either group, please contact the director, Mr. James Jones at

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications; 407-582-1778;

summer music camps end on a high note

There are plenty of middle and high school students who would have been perfectly content to spend their summers lounging by the pool or in front of the TV – then there were those who wanted to jam.

Those students found themselves right at home at the Rock and Roll Camp and Jazz Camp offered at Valencia Community College’s East Campus this summer.

Led by professional musicians and educators, both camps gave students a musical outlet where they could jam with each other, hone their talent and gain performance practice.

Jazz Camp Director, Jarritt Sheel, started the camp in 2008 as a way to reach out to students who were interested in jazz but needed more exposure to it.

“It’s an area that a lot of kids are interested in but they don’t hear that, they don’t see that at home because it’s not on TV – it’s not on MTV, it’s not on VH1,” said Sheel.

At the camp, students learn about jazz improvisation, history, theory and performance techniques through jazz clinics, jam sessions and faculty and student performances. The five-day camp costs $250.

The Rock and Roll Camp began in 1997 as an outreach to students who were taking guitar, bass, drum, keyboard or voice lessons already but wanted to collaborate with others to form bands and perform together.

The camp gives students a taste of the entire music process, from creating and rehearsing to performing. Activities include instrumental classes, band rehearsals, clinics and guest performers. At the end of camp, all students perform together in a final concert. The camp is offered in two sessions through the summer and costs $320 per week.

“You get to form bands and get to do what you really want to do, you know, what you’ve always dreamed of doing – you get to play up on stage, gigging and everything – it’s just totally awesome,” said Zack, a student at the Rock and Roll Camp.

Both Rock and Roll Camp and Jazz Camp have concluded this summer, but will be offered again next year. For more information, please visit

SOURCE: Valencia News,

annual florida playwrights competition open!

Annual Florida Playwrights Competition open for new plays!

The Valencia East Campus theater program is accepting plays from Florida playwrights for its annual Florida Playwrights Competition which has been held every year since 1991. Scripts must be original, previously unproduced, full-length plays (scripts that have received staged readings may be submitted). Collaborations are eligible, but children’s plays, musicals and adaptations are not. Deadline for entries is October 15, 2010.

The winning play will be announced in early December and be staged in April 2011, as part of Valencia’s regular subscription series. The playwright will be invited to develop and workshop the play beginning in January, and will receive a stipend to cover travel and other expenses related to the production.

Electronic submission of manuscripts is requested. Playwrights residing in Florida are invited to send the first 15 pages of no more than two scripts each to Valencia’s Artistic Director, Julia Gagne, at .

For further submission information or a mailing address, please call 407-582-2296.

Source:  Marketing and Strategic Communications, 407-299-5000, ext. 1015;

valencia’s juneteenth celebration


Valencia’s Juneteenth Celebration to Provide a Musical Journey Through African American History.

On Tuesday, June 29, 2010 Valencia Community College will celebrate Juneteenth in conjunction with Black Music Month by hosting the musical event, From Spirituals to Soul, performed by the Jones High School Alumni Band.The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with food and a reception, followed by the musical program at 7 p.m. It will be held on Valencia’s West Campus, located at 1800 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando, in the Special Events Center (Building 8).

This narrated program will take listeners on a musical journey through African American history, starting with the spirituals from the times of slavery and moving through gospel, deep river, swing, jazz, rhythm and blues, and soul.

 Celebrating some of the greatest African American contributions to music, the program will include the works of legends such as Thomas Dorsey, W.C. Handy, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Martha Williams at 407-582-8090 or

Source: Melissa Tchen, Marketing & Strategic Communications

recycled, wrapped and sewn

Big Fan, 2008, 40 in X 40 in, wire, string, cotton fabric

The Anita S. Wooten Gallery at Valencia Community College East Campus will host Recycled, Wrapped and Sewn, works by Courtney Puckett, an emerging artist from New York.

An opening reception will be held on June 18, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., with an artist lecture at 7:30 p.m. This exhibit will run until July 30. The opening reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

Gallery hours are: Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. The gallery is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, FL 32825.

 For more information, please call 407-582-2268 or 407-582-2298, or visit

end of season performance: Almost, Maine

Almost, Maine: performances June 10-13 & June 17-20, Thursdays - Saturdays @ 7:30 p.m.; Sundays @ 2 p.m.

The Valencia Character Company will present the John Cariani comedy, “Almost, Maine” as their final production of the season. Performances will be held June 10-13 and June 17-20, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m..

In the town of Almost, Maine, residents find themselves falling in and out of love in very unexpected and often hilarious ways, and as the Northern Lights appear in the sky, magical happenings abound. The play has been produced hundreds of times in theaters all across the country, as well as internationally, and has had many sold-out runs along the way. Valencia Artistic Director Julia Gagne directs the cast of Valencia theater students.

All performances will be in the the Black Box Theater on Valencia’s East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. Ticket prices are $8 general admission and $6 for students, seniors, Valencia staff and alumni. Seating is limited in the Black Box, and a number of performances this season have sold out, so advance ticket purchase is advised, and latecomers may not be seated until intermission. To purchase tickets and for further information, please call the box office at 407-582-2900; tickets are also available online at

Source: Valencia Marketing & Strategic Communications

open opera summer classes

Robert Swedberg, Former Orlando Opera Director, to Offer Summer Classes at Valencia

Following the success of last year’s summer opera program, visiting artist Robert Swedberg, former director of the Orlando Opera, will return to Valencia to teach two summer classes: Opera and Music Theatre Workshop, and Yoga for Performers.
Both courses are open to members of the community. Participants must enroll at Valencia and will receive two hours of college credit for each course they take. The fee is $174.72 per course. Seniors over age 59 and dual-enrollment students can join for free.
Opera and Music Theatre Workshop
This course addresses all aspects of opera and musical theatre production with a focus on music preparation, character analysis, and performance skills. The class will culminate in a program of semi-staged and costumed operatic and musical theatre excerpts. 
To join this class, participants must register for the Valencia course MUO2001, CRN # 32821. The class will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:20-6:55 p.m. from June 8-Aug. 3 on Valencia’s East Campus. This course requires an additional fee of $35.  
This course is designed to help performers balance their physical, mental and spiritual practice through yoga. Professor Robert Swedberg is a certified yoga instructor, and has developed this course specifically for the needs of the performer, using elements of several different yoga styles. Each participant will be assisted in building an individual yoga practice relevant to body type, physical condition and goals. 

To join this class, participants must register for the Valencia course MUS2930, CRN # 32784. The class will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:06-4:40 p.m. from June 8-Aug. 3 on Valencia’s East Campus. 

Robert Swedberg served as the general director of Orlando Opera from 1990-2007. Prior to that, he was the general director of Syracuse Opera and also held positions with Opera Carolina, the Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Wagner Festival. He also worked as a professional singer and voice teacher for several years. Currently, he serves as an associate professor of voice at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

For more information, please contact Wendy Givoglu, dean of Arts and Entertainment, at 407-582-2218 or

Yoga for Performers

Source: Valencia Marketing & Strategic Communications

Dr. Philip Bishop: Adventures in the Human Spirit

Dr. Philip Bishop, dear friend and esteemed colleague to many.

On Tuesday, April 12th, a little after 10 p.m., Valencia Community College lost a dear friend and esteemed colleague, Philip Bishop.   After facing a two-year struggle with cancer, his body finally gave way and Philip moved on in his journey.  His twenty-one years of work at the college and in the community leaves a tremendous legacy and a tremendous loss.

Philip is a colleague and friend who will be greatly missed.  He will be missed in the classroom where he modeled excellence in teaching and encouraged deep thinking from his students.  A compassionate teacher, believing that we all deserve a second chance, he shared his values and influenced many of us across the college in our approach to students.   His own appreciation of the arts came alive in his courses and made the material accessible for our students.  Philip’s guiding principle was “Students First” as is evident in all his work at the college.

His influence reached beyond the classroom to many college-wide initiatives.  Our Provost Ruth Prather speaks of Philip in a beautiful way: “He is an exemplar of the collaborative process.  We have lost one of the most valuable faculty leaders that we have ever had.”   Philip helped mold the college into an institution that holds student learning as its central value.  His input into the Student Core Competencies, Valencia Educator Essential Competencies and General Education Outcomes will resonate throughout the college for years to come.  A great thinker, Philip had the ability to deepen a question, clarify a statement, and push thinking to a new level.  His influence in that work will be sorely missed, but remains our legacy of his powerful vision.

In the Humanities Department on East Campus where he acted as the department coordinator for ten years, many of the tenured faculty looked to Philip as a mentor and guide.  His textbook, Adventures in the Human Spirit, now in its 5th edition, is used throughout the country as a core text in the Humanities, and A Beginners Guide to the Humanities (a handbook on experiencing art) is in its 3rd edition.  This excerpt from his Guide captures the vibrancy and keen delight he radiated about art and life:  “I am still hungry for life, and I trust the poet to tell me how it tastes.” He saw his Guide as the reader’s “ticket to get in the game and begin a lifelong enjoyment of the arts and culture [and] . . .  experience first-hand the artistry of the world’s creative people [and] . . . discover your own creative powers and tap your own creative imagination.” A self-taught appreciator of art himself, he thought that being “smart about art (and other things, too) doesn’t require a sophisticate’s birthright or a minimum intelligence score or even a college degree.  Art smarts come to an open mind that’s willing to reach out, take a risk, and encounter new experience.” 

In addition to teaching at Valencia, and the University of Central Florida part-time, Philip served the college and community in many ways.  His love for art and exquisite writing talents melded beautifully in his work as Orlando Sentinel art critic, a job he began in the mid 90’s and continued until a few short months ago.  Philip, also, had strong values that led him to stand firmly for his beliefs and to serve as the faculty advisor for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for a number of years and later to participate in the college’s Peace and Justice Initiative.  As busy as he was with book revisions, newspaper articles and paper grading–and at the end his struggle with cancer–Philip always welcomed anyone who stopped by, whether for professional advice, personal council, or a friendly conversation. Remarkably, he was on the East Campus one week before his death, doing all that he could to be present for his students and do what he loved most of all . . . teaching.  Philip faced his death openly and bravely.  He shared his experiences, the daily ups and downs of cancer treatment, allowing many to have a window into this painful and moving struggle.  His courage during this time was heroic and leaves a lasting impression on so many of us.

A tender and devoted father and grandfather, Philip took every opportunity to travel to Virginia, North Carolina and New York City to visit with his children, grandchildren, and mother.  For Halloween last year he delighted his grandchildren when he dressed as a pirate.   He was a proud father who boasted about the beautiful parenting skills of his son Aaron and the sharp intellect and leadership of his daughter Shaughna.

Upon his death, he was at home surrounded by family and dear friends.  He is survived by his mother, Verna Bishop; his brother Mark; his sister Elaine; his two children, Aaron and Shaungha Bishop; and his two grandchildren, Cole and Lillian.   Valencia’s loss is far overshadowed by theirs, and we enfold them with our arms of love.   

Philip Bishop helped us see a better vision of the college and of ourselves, and for this, and many other reasons, we will miss him for years to come.

And, finally, in the words of Horatio:  “Goodnight, sweet friend, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

third brazilian film festival to be held at valencia

The Third Valencia Brazilian Film Festival runs Thursday, March 25 – Thursday, April 1 with screenings at three of the college’s campuses.  The festival will showcase Brazilian films “My Name Isn’t Johnny,” “Life is What You Make it: An Urban Odyssey,” “In Therapy,” and “A Gastronomic Story.”  

The free film series was launched by Richard Sansone, professor of Portuguese and English as a Second Language at Valencia Community College. “Films are an incredibly effective vehicle for learning a language and gaining insight about a culture,” explains Sansone, who initiated the Portuguese language curriculum at Valencia. “It’s important when choosing the films to portray a balanced image of a society as well.”

Helping to choose this year’s films were recognized filmmakers Elisa Tolomelli and Malu de Martino who also will present each film and participate in Q&A sessions after the screenings.
 “My Name Isn’t Johnny”
7 p.m., Thursday, March 25, West Campus Building 3 Auditorium, (Rating: 14 and older)
The film narrates the true story of João Guilherme Estrella, the restless middle-class adolescent that rose to become the head of Rio’s cocaine traffic in the late 1980s and early 1990s. João Estrella’s edgy story of excess and foreboding is brilliantly portrayed by Selton Mello under the careful direction of Mauro Lima who likewise elicits the best from his star-studded cast.

“Life is What You Make it: An Urban Odyssey”
7 p.m., Monday, March 29, Osceola Campus, Building 2 Auditorium, (Rating: 16 and older)
Directors Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas provide viewers with a blinding contemporary snapshot of urban survival in São Paulo through the lives of four brothers who are being raised by their single mother. The resulting film is tangibly desperate yet resiliently hopeful and always in motion.  The vicious cycle of urban poverty, the challenges of single-parent families, the questions of race and identity, the struggle for survival and success are carefully blended into a powerful cinematic cocktail that leaves the viewer dizzy for its speed as we ponder the voyage it has taken us on.

 “In Therapy”
7 p.m., Wednesday, March 31, East Campus, Performing Arts Center, (Rating: 14 and older)
Psychoanalysis that starts as a curiosity turns into an intense process of self-discovery for both Mercedes and the film’s audience that she keeps with her every minute of this quick witted comedy at midlife crisis. Lilia Cabral starred in the long-running play and now the award winning film version of this voyage of self actualization of an uncommon woman living a common life to its wake up call through therapy.

 “A Gastronomic Story”  
7 p.m., Thursday, April, West Campus Building 3 Auditorium, (Rating: 16 and older)
A robust celebration of food and the female posterior, Estômago is a movie filled to the brim with passion.  The film’s good-natured humor turns darkly comic as the story evolves, and João Miguel as Nonato, has just the right amount of crooked grin charm to immerse you in his story completely.  A delight to the senses, this nimble comic fable provides a smartly constructed gastronomic allegory for ambition and survival.

All films are in Portuguese with English subtitles and are free to the public.  To see promotional trailers for each film, visit

 Valencia’s West Campus is located at 1800 South Kirkman Road in Orlando, The Osceola Campus is located at 1800 Denn John Lane in Kissimmee, and the East Campus Performing Arts Center is at  701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

The festival is presented with the support of the Central Florida Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce.  For more information contact Professor Richard Sansone at Valencia, 407-582-1383.

 Source: News and Information, March 18, 2010, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College, 407-582-1016

dancing anyone???

It’s Spring and yes, it’s that time of year again!!!

What:     Valencia Spring Dance Concert
When:    Friday and Saturday, March 26-27, 2010
Time:      8:00 p.m.
Where:   East Campus Performing Arts Center

How much?
VCC Students with an ID Free
$8.00 General admission; $6.00 Seniors, Faculty/Staff, Non-VCC Students

Time for our annual Spring Dance Concert!  This year, the Concert features The Envelope by guest artist David Parsons a new contemporary ballet by VCC Artistic Director Lesley Brasseux set to Ravel’s Bolero, and a Modern Day Pas De Quatre by Rollins College Director of Dance Dr. W. Robert Sherry. This Concert features dance students from both Valencia and Rollins College.

Dates for the show are March 26-27, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center on the East Campus, 701 North Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. Tickets are $8.00 for general admission and free to Valencia Students with a valid ID.  Senior Citizens and other college students with an ID are $6.00. For more ticket information please call the box office at 407 582-2900. Come out and enjoy a wonderful evening of dance!

u.s. poet laureate lauds value of community colleges: saving lives and saving minds

U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan: “I simply want to celebrate the fact that right near your home, year in and year out, a community college is quietly — and with very little financial encouragement — saving lives and minds. I can’t think of a more efficient, hopeful or egalitarian machine, with the possible exception of the bicycle. A community college is where a student can progress from learning to read … to learning to read poetry.”

In less than 90 seconds, Ryan eloquently captures the essence of our mission.

Listen here.

Ryan taught remedial English part time for 30 years at the College of Marin in Kentfield, Calif., which helped her develop a deep appreciation for the role community colleges play in making education accessible throughout the nation.

Concerning poetry itself, Ryan describes it as an intensely personal experience for both writer and reader: “Poems are transmissions from the depths of whoever wrote them to the depths of the reader,” she said.

Her many awards include: the 2005 Gold Medal for Poetry from the San Francisco Commonwealth Club; the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from The Poetry Foundation in 2004; a Guggenheim fellowship the same year; and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship as well as the Maurice English Poetry Award in 2001.

You can learn more about Ryan and her work here, here, here, here and here.